A flagship anti-violence initiative that counts the Prime Minister as an ambassador is without funding for the coming year after Government support dried up.

White Ribbon Day is held annually on November 25 and is one the highest-profile campaigns to reduce the country's high rate of violence against women.

The White Ribbon campaign was originally run by the Families Commission - now called Superu - but in 2014 the White Ribbon Trust was set-up to operate independently..

The charity has relied heavily on Government funding. Superu gave $309,000 in 2014/15 (90 per cent of White Ribbon's total income), and has budgeted up to $100,000 for the current financial year.


However, no transitional funding was committed past June this year, leaving the trust to find between $300,000 and $400,000.

Campaign manager Rob McCann told the Herald the end of transitional funding from Superu was well signalled. He remained confident that funding applications to other government agencies would be successful.

"That doesn't, however, mean that we are out of the woods in terms of funding for 2016. We would have to say that we are awaiting a number of decisions, and we do not have funding to continue on past the financial year at this stage. It is always serious when you don't know where the funding will come from. But we are confident that government departments will see the value and provide that funding."

Last year, White Ribbon looked at what money could be raised by donations or sponsorship from the private sector.

"It is tough, it is really tough out there. And one of the things that we do not want to do as an agency is go and take money off those frontline agencies - Women's Refuge, Rape Crisis ... so that has made it much harder," Mr McCann said.

The Government has publicised various efforts to reduce family and sexual violence. A press release by Police Minister Judith Collins this week noted that responding to family violence accounts for 41 per cent of a frontline police officer's time.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said because Superu was now strictly a research and evaluation entity, the Government was looking at how to fit White Ribbon into a long-term family and sexual violence strategy being developed by herself and Justice Minister Amy Adams.

Future funding decisions would be made as part of Budget 2016.


Labour's associate justice (sexual and domestic violence) spokeswoman Poto Williams said she hoped Ms Tolley would follow through on properly integrating White Ribbon into a wider anti-violence strategy.

Labour and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, a White Ribbon ambassador who last year organised a 17-day hikoi to raise awareness around sexual violence, said the uncertainty facing the trust was unacceptable.

"I'd like to see organisations like White Ribbon know well in advance that they have enough funds."

White Ribbon ambassadors include pop star Stan Walker and former league internationals Ruben Wiki and Awen Guttenbeil.

There were calls for Prime Minister John Key to be dropped as an ambassador after he was caught up in a stunt by The Rock radio station that referenced prison rape.

White Ribbon subsequently accepted the Prime Minister's explanation that he was unaware of what was planned, and did not comprehend the rape references made by a host.